On a very hot day at North Downs Golf Club, Sussex Under 14s struggled to make their mark
against two very strong county sides. With Captain Thomas Thurloway already sidelined
through injury, the team suffered another blow just before tee off when stand in Captain
Hamish Mardell had to pull out with a neck problem. With a few urgent telephone calls,
Cameron Henderson arrived just in time to play as a substitute but that is never the best
preparation for a big match. He performed well taking both of his opponents to the last holes
but wasn’t able to nick either match.
The whole team performed better than the points score suggests with 10 of the 20 matches
going to the 18th and the achievement of 1 win and 4 halves was poor return for the fighting
Sam Prince-Smith stood in as replacement Captain and led well from the front against
two very low single figure handicap players (2 and 5) only losing one match on the 16th and
the other on the 18th. The standard is high and Sam’s excellent 4 birdies were not enough
to clinch any points. Gregor Macintosh found his Essex opponent too hot to handle but fought
back magnificently to get a half with Surrey with a career par 4 on the last – never saw a
fairway, never saw a green until the ball went into the hole!
Laird Shepherd continued to typify the fighting spirit in the team coming from several holes down
only to lose both his matches on the 18th. Following his excellent win in the Littlehampton
Junior Open, Laird has a new self belief and will never give up on a chance to win. It was a
happier day for Ally Strachan who managed to halve both his matches while his brother Callum
narrowly lost both his two matches.
Joe Morley and Kurt Redman both suffered at the hands of much lower handicap players but
both showed strong determination to hang on as long as they could. Joe White found his Essex
opponent very strong but fought back well against Surrey only losing on the 17th.
Saving the best until last, Tom Crossman was the undoubted man of the match with a win and
a half in his two matches again playing boys with much lower handicaps than he has. The strength
in his character showed very strongly fighting back after losing two holes in a row and then missing
a very short putt to lose another hole. Well done Tom.
It’s been a tough learning year for the boys but nobody can question their fighting spirit, will to win,
attitude and behaviour – they have been great examples to everybody and although the results have
been less than we would have liked, I am proud of where they have got to.
Under 14 Manager